This is another reader submission. Here is a take by GC on Pitt football…

My participation in athletics as a young guy and observation as a fan of many sports has led me to a simple conclusion. Winning depends on four things; the absolute excellence of a team’s star players, the availability of a quality supporting cast and needed depth, the level of your competition, and staying healthy.

Winning championships usually requires one additional element, that of luck, unless you are just overwhelmingly better than the other guys.

Quality coaching is a factor, but far less so than the other factors.

I have participated on Championship teams (high school), and have been lucky to live in Pittsburgh since I was 10 years old when “Beat ‘em Bucs” was first heard, waved a terrible towel even before they were printed when Myron Cope told us to bring any old yellow towel to the games. And I watched the rise of Mario Lemieux, Crosby and Malkin with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The common denominator was that those teams, and the champion Steelers, all had superstars, plenty of depth and the intangibles.

Let’s look to Pitt Football and how these factors apply.

Although I heard of Marshall Goldberg and saw Mike Ditka play in the pros, my observation of Pitt Football didn’t start until the fall of ’68 when I enrolled and began witnessing some of the most pitiful football ever seen at Pitt. By the time I got my graduate degree, there was a “Major change in Pitt Football”

So you probably see what I am getting at, the most important thing that ever happened to modern Pitt Football was Tony Dorsett coming to Pitt. Sure we can point to Al Romano, Matt Cavanaugh, Gordon Jones, Elliott Walker and a few others, but it really was Tony Dorsett’s amazing play that won our 1976 national championship.

He and a lot of quality help and I don’t mean the guys on the bench or second string. I am talking about the other 2 starters, the kickers, special teamers and anyone else who played a role.

That Championship led to Majors leaving to go back to his hometown and Jackie Sherrill taking over then many more stars and quality depth coming to Pitt. Marino and Green were the headliners, but there were many others who went on to be NFL Hall of Fame members and other stalwarts.

Unfortunately, for the next 30+ years we have been fortunate to have an only a few great stars of the game. Passing through the Pitt program were possible future NFL HOF players Chris Doleman, Curtis Martin, Ironhead Heyward, Darrell Revis, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy and Aaron Donald.  But we have not had the quality depth to go along with them. We have not had the secondary or tertiary level talent either.

We have been very lucky to have the stars we have had considering the overall results of the team year in and year out and underwhelming effort by the Pitt administration.

This brings me to why I write this article because, along with Reed, I have been and remain concerned about recruiting. Our current team has few if any star players. I am not referring to the 4* and 5* recruit varieties. I am speaking of the guys who will go on to have College or NFL HOF careers.  Maybe Narduzzi is building the quality depth I am talking about, but I am far from sure of that.

I don’t expect us to compete with the Alabama’s, tOSU’s, PSU’s, Clemson’s etc. on signing day, but we need to do much better than we are, if we are ever to compete for a Coastal or ACC championship trophy.

It just isn’t possible to win Championships without great players and lots of them, let alone the other intangibles I mentioned. Recruiting is absolutely, positively the most important thing.

I am not trying to place blame on anyone, I am just stating a fact. The team with the best players is generally the team that wins.  The team with the biggest and most stars usually ends up with the Championship ring, but you also need to have those intangibles.

The Sherrill teams were the best ever, had the most talent, but didn’t win a ring.

This year, we hope that Pickett and Paris Ford become our star players. They may do, but I can pretty much guarantee it won’t be this year, because there isn’t enough quality depth around them to allow them to really shine.

So, we will just have to go on celebrating the good old days, when we were great, and later when we had a few all-time great players, but weren’t so great as a team. But hey, we will still have something to drink to when Fitzgerald (guaranteed) Revis and McCoy, probably make the NFL’s Hall of Fame.

Big Tony

 

85 thoughts on “Star Power

  1. Thanks gc. I think there is a big misconception on whether or not stars matter. Of course they matter and I think everyone agrees with this. Who doesn’t want PITT to sign all 5 ad 4* players? For those that believe that Narduzzi can win with highly rated 3* (me) is two fold…

    One, that’s about what kind of players Narduzzi can get at this moment. We’ve discussed the reasons for this at great lengths on the POV. That is what it is.

    Two, Those that accept the fact that this is a process, a work in progress if you will. Increments for a program like PITT’s. Just like many other teams that some like to compare to the PITT football program it takes continuity, stability and a coaching staff that’s been in place to show recruits their work and that they will still be around as the young men grow for 4 or 5 years.. It’s called TIME!

    Then there is the commitment word. We will argue all day about what kind of commitment this newer PITT administration has for the current PITT football program. I do believe there is more of an honest effort and vision than there has been in the recent past. Two eight win regular season wins and one down year with 5 wins. Two steps forward and one step back. That will get you ahead every-time. …. but only for those that have the kind of patience it takes to crawl forward….

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  2. GC….terrific well thought out article. Better than Zeiss, Cooke or any DK writer could have penned.
    I was also 10 and a little leaguer during the 60s World Series. Your comment on stars rings very true and as much as I like Duzz, I agree his recruiting has been very lacking to this point.

    I played on a pretty good Baldwin Team in 1967 when at 9-0 we met an undefeated Mt Lebenon team in front of 10,000 at Lebo Stadium. Every starter from Lebo went on to play D1 ball and 3 went on to NFL careers, 1 HOF. Police said it was the biggest gambling game to this day in the history of WPIAL football. I was devastated when we lost, but looking back, Lebo had the stars.

    We will never see another Dorsett…..anywhere but I see something very special in Pickett. Hope we can find some stars to go with him.

    GC again, really appreciate you time and thought.

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    1. Dan – I went to Lebo and was 7 yrs old when my dad took me to that game. Back when it was a grass field. I remember a Blue Devil player gave my little brother his chin strap after the game….my brother kept that for yrs. Thsoe guys were true stars to us as little kids.

      A few years later, we hosted Joe Montana and Ringgold in a playoff game – and won!

      In those days, I think the conference was Baldwin, Bethel Park, Cannon-Mac, Chartiers Valley, Keystone Oaks (KO as we called them), Lebo, Trinity & USC, I believe that within the conference, Baldwin, Cannon-Mac and Lebo were the powers. Art Walker Sr. was not only our legendary coach, but a math teacher at Lebo…and a regular at Atria’ s on Beverly Road.

      I don’t believe we ever had someone go into the Pro Football HOF. We did have some during my era who played for Pitt – Cesar Aldisert, Bob Schillken, John Rees and Chris Jelic. John Frank went to Ohio State and then the 49ers. Jelic played professional baseball in the Mets organization and hit a HR at Three Rivers against the Buccos in what may have been his on major league at-bat.

      Here’s a little piece that you might find interesting.

      https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/mount-lebanon-high-school-packs-a-star-studded-class-of-alumni/Content?oid=3470793

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      1. JoeL…Uniontown was the big power in our conference and we beat them late with a hook and lateral. Canon Mac not so much. Lebo had 3 lineman who made it big in the pros. Other than Uniontown, Baldwin crushed every other team that year. I was a 3rd team wideout and CB and almost had my letter by game 6, I had played so much mop up in games.

        Our defense was made up of the toughest guys I’ve ever known so when Lebo ran over us like we weren’t there, it was a shock to everyone. Lebo won in a blowout. Many years later, I found out that the game was fixed. Mob was holding so much money on Baldwin, they could not lay it off so they threatened a few of my teammates. No matter…Lebo was by far the better team.

        I still hurt from that loss today but it prepared me for Pitt 7-6 loss and others later. I could tell you
        Hours of stories from that game and that season! I have hated the “cake eaters”from Lebo ever since. Just kidding.

        Thanks for the note!

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  3. Awesome article, and even better picture of Siragusa. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote, but I also agree with Ike’s comments about patience and building the Pitt program up…and doing it the right way.

    Another thing I want to point out is that we have a lot of high 3* talent and more 4* talent than some have been mentioning. I put together a list of potential starting lineups (below) for offense and defense for 2018, along with the star ranking for these players. I know not every 4* is going to pan out and some lower star players are going to outplay their ranking. Whatever the case, I like where the program/team is headed, and I’m excited about next year.

    STARTING OFFENSE
    QB- Pickett (plays like 4)
    RB- Hall (4
    )
    FB- Aston (plays like 4)
    OL- Bookser (4
    ), Drake (4), Warren (4), Brown (JC transfer), Hargrove (3)
    TE- Clark (5
    )
    WR- Matthews (3), Tipton (3), Ffrench (3*), Araujo-Lopes (JC)

    STARTING DEFENSE
    DL- Watts (4), Camp (4), Hendrix (4), Weaver (2, plays better than ranking)
    LB- Brightwell (3), Idowu (plays like a 3 or 4), Zeise (meh)
    S- Ford (4
    ), Garner (3)
    CB- Mathis (3
    , Hamlin (4*)

    This is not even mentioning the redshirts or incoming guys who could make an impact as early as next season.

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  4. I hope like heck that Narduzzi is putting it together, just like every Pitt fan.

    But I wasn’t talking about how many stars a guy has when he is recruited.

    I am talking about the real stars, the guys that are far superior to everyone else on the field.

    Guys like Fralic, that from day 1 was knocking guys down so much they invented the term Pancake, to describe what he was doing.

    You need multiple guys with superior skills to win championships.

    I think Narduzzi is doing a pretty good job of putting together that quality depth I refer to.

    He needs those 3 or 4 superstars to get to the next level.

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  5. Drake = 3*
    Warren = 3*
    Brown = 3*
    Clark = 4*

    Camp = 3*
    Zeise = 3*

    Brown was brought in for depth and won’t start.

    Look guys, we talk a lot about recruiting on here and I guarantee you that Rivals.com is by far the most respected Recruiting Site. In my experience, and i have been researching and writing about Pitt football for 11 years now, Rivals is also the most accurate over the long run – again there is no question about that.

    That is why when you hear people on the radio, TV, in print talk about how many stars a recruit has they are always referring to the stars Rivals awards

    I ask you to stick to using Rivals as a baseline for our discussions on here otherwise the conversions will mean nothing.

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    1. And for some reason, probably just because of the wealth of talent available & thus an upgrade in the competition experienced in their HS development, a Florida 3 Star recruit usually shines brighter than those from other parts of the nation.

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  6. gc, that was a very good article and thanks again. I get what you’re saying. This earlier part of Narduzzi’s tenure is where that recruiters eye matter the most. You mention Pickett, I believe he’s going to be a really good one. Yet he was a 3* and had very limited offers. << That’s the kind of player that will catapult the PITT football program into a very nice future.

    Ford on the other hand is the real deal. Again as the story goes. The kids from Florida who practiced with Ford in an all-star game couldn’t wait to get back home and tell their future college coaches what a player he is… He almost left but stuck with PITT. Way better than Whitehead… who was pretty darn good.

    That’s a good start, now Narduzzi will land a couple good players this next signing period…. just watch… ike

    H2P!

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  7. The reasons I don’t like Rivals are: They never bump up PITT players like they do psu and other big-time recruits to big time schools when they commit to those schools. They have a cap on their five stars allowed. How does that make sense? Why would there be a cutoff if a young player is deserving, too subjective.. Having said that, I’ll play along with Rivals being the standard.

    Again, there is virtually no difference between a 5.7 and a 5.8 recruit. It’s all horse pucky…

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  8. Nice job GC, and I concur with Dan 72 in that Pickett can be our next NFL star. I’ll repost a previous question: How good was the talent surrounding Doug Flutie when he enrolled at BC? A star QB surrounded by some good(not necessarily great) players can make a big difference in how a team performs.

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    1. Flutie is too small to play major college ball, and to dream that he’ll ever play pro ball is just that, a pipe dream.

      Problem is, when these recruiting recruiting sites rank those HS players, they can look at stats, height, weights and 40 times, but rarely are they able to measure the size of their hearts.
      That difference, a kid’s “want to” is key to developing good recruits into really good players as they mature through college.

      Not one HS kid comes into college as a finished product. It’s what they put into it when they get on campus that makes them into truly star contributors.

      Sure I’d rather begin with a stable full of 4 Stars to begin that process but there’s plenty of diamonds in the rough out there that can become major contributors in the correct circumstances.

      You’ll see that occur more often with the BCs & Pitts of the college football world since they don’t have to force their way through a thicket of 4 & 5 star players ahead of them to see the field.

      And although you’re not going to win national championships with a team full of 3 Star gamers, you can still WIN. That’s why in the last two seasons we’ve knocked off two undefeated teams. Coaching matters with those type kids.

      Coach Duzz needs to reel in more supreme talent, TRU but he’s a coach that understands how to motivate his kids to excel to their potential & that’s a very valuable quality in a head coach.

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  9. Very nice article, gc. Long time reader, 1st time poster here. There is definitely an “it” factor that stars possess and can take a team a long way. Your hope is that a coach realizes it when recruiting or even during a season to get the best people on the field to put you into a position to win the game.

    Example: Baker Mayfield was a 3* recruit on Rivals. He walked on at Texas Tech and was put in as a true freshman due to the starting qb getting injured. By the end of the season he was up for the Burlsworth Trophy (best D1 football walk-on) and Big12 Freshman Offensive PoY. He left and walked on at Oklahoma the next year. After sitting out a year, he won the staring nod in an open competition, was 4th in Heisman ranking and led his team to the CFP in 15. 3rd in Heiman ranking and the Sugar Bowl the next year, Won the Heisman and went to the CFP this year. He is the only walk on to ever win the Heisman Trophy.

    He had a lot of talent around him, but was a fuel to make everyone better. And yes, I looked all that up on Wikipedia, but I wanted to get my facts straight.

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    1. And that’s exactly the type of “want to” intangible factor that I speak of above. Compare that result with our past “Prime” 4 Star recruit that destroyed the state’s HS rushing record a half dozen years ago.

      I was doing cart wheels when Rushel Shell committed to the Panthers. Little did I know that he would come in with the attitude of an entitled jerk. Compare that man today with his replacement counterpart after Shell left & abandoned his team. I’ll take a James Conner 3 Star recruit over a Rushel Shell 4 Star recruit every day of the year. Just sayin.

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  10. Future star potential from flashes last year –

    Pickett – I think he might be the real deal

    Aruajo-Lopes – I liked what I saw from this under recruited JUCO from two years ago and he really hasn’t let me down since. Just produces and I think is poised to have a Giant year.

    Rashad Weaver/Keyshon Camp – freshmen from last year held their own last year and should continue to get better.

    Dane Jackson -seriously underrated by Pitt fans. This guy is a hell of a player and is turning into a legit shutdown corner

    Future all conference potential

    Hamlin – he started coming into his own late last season. If he stays healthy and continues getting better he could be a good one

    Idowu – another guy that continues to get better. Hard worker that quietly had a pretty good season last year.

    Zeise – if this kid can play every game like he did against Miami he might have one of the highest cielings on the team. Very fast for a lb

    Aston – stud if healthy

    Kessman – freshman walkon ended up having a very strong season

    I don’t think pitt will be hurting for star players, even after losing two fairly loaded (by Pitt standards) draft classes in a row.

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    1. You better watch your comments on here Anon. Expressing thoughts like those on the POV could get you slapped with a screen name like “snowflake optimist” by the entrenched POV establishment.

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  11. Regarding Scholarship offers as a measure of how valuable a recruit is – as I have been saying … Offers don’t mean anything much at all.

    This below quote is from this article: http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/02/how_are_recruiting_rankings_de.html

    “Do scholarship offers matter?

    A common refrain heard on message boards and social media is that if a player has an offer from “insert your school here” how can he be only a three-star prospect? If a big school like Alabama or Auburn offers a prospect isn’t there a good chance he’s a four-star or five-star prospect?

    The issue is that all scholarship offers aren’t created equal. Each school has different needs and different systems, and thus targets different types of prospects. Farrell compares it to the NFL Draft where “guys will rate a certain position higher because it’s a positional need for that team.” Despite a team willing to take a player in the Top 10 of the draft, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a Top 10-level talent.

    The same theory applies to college football.

    Out of the four recruiting experts, Shurburtt is the only one who says offers factor in at all and he gives it only 10 percent of the total equation.

    The other issue with factoring in scholarship offers, according to the analysts, is that not only do they not tell the full story, but they might not even exist. Recruits make up scholarship offers in order to get more attention. It would be incredibly difficult to personally verify every single offer that 2000 or more recruits claim to have.

    Says Luginbill: “Some are manufactured by the kids and you don’t know if he even has an offer or not. Other offers might be predicated on stipulations of coming to a camp or an official visit.”

    He additionally notes that offers don’t reflect priority on a program’s board. With schools offering more and more kids, a player could get a prestigious offer but behind the scenes he is the 10th best receiver on the board and the program only plans on taking two.

    etc…. good article.

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    1. Funny how I never heard that argument when HCPC was recruiting kids with an offer sheet full of Big East & MAC type schools on it.

      Me thinks I smell a scenario to fit one’s agenda.

      In any case, all things considered, I’d still be leaning towards taking the kid with an offer sheet that contains interest from B1G, ACC & other Power 5 programs over one who only had garnered interest from a dozen Temple or Kent State types by comparision.

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      1. WTF??? I never said Chryst’s recruiting was all that good. I think he got some great players onboard but I don’t feel he was all that good at it.

        My take is that Narduzzi gets normal recruits and because they might have a P5 school or two listed some fans jump up and down which I feel is ridiculous.

        Tom, I have to say that you tend to bend your memories a bit when you want to make a point. I have no agenda when it comes to recruiting because I believe you can’t pass full judgement on a class or recruit until they play…or should have played.

        But when the four leading recruiting site experts all say the same thing about offers then you can be assured that’s pretty much the way it is.

        BTW…both Narduzzi and DW wouldn’t formally offer a scholarship until the recruit is actually seen by a staff member in a camp. At least that is what Narduzzi has said more than once.

        Many other HCs feel that same way, so that is another reason I distrust a kid’s offer sheet…most are based on letters received from schools and not actual offers.

        Look at the recruit’s official visits to campus at the schools…those are solid indications of interest by the college in the kid.

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  12. I agree with Reed & others on here that recruiting is totally lacking. It does seem though that our recruits under Narduzzi & even Christ have had a decent amount of offers from other P5 schools rather than non P5 schools. But Reed says that really doesn’t matter. I think we are ‘grasping at straws’ here in hanging our hats on a recruit’s other offers and whether or not he’s a tenth of a point or so from being a 4 star.

    Didn’t we just have 3 four star recruits leave the program? (Pugh, Carter, Miller) Why did this happen? Why couldn’t they see the field? If these 4 star guys can’t see the field, does anyone really have faith that all our 3 stars are gonne be “coached up”?

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    1. You lost me as soon as you wrote, “totally lacking” it’s opinions like that serve no useful purpose if you want to stimulate rational dialogue.

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  13. Pickett showed he had star power in the Miami game, don’t overlook Aston coming back from injury. He made plays, his blocking and leadership was missed last year. A lot hinges on both lines though. Need plays by Hendricks if he’s indeed legit.

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  14. GC – enjoyed the post. I certainly hope Duzz is building a program here – if so, its clearly taking a little longer than some would like. Frank Beamer took quite a few years to get VT into the position of fielding winning teams year in and year out, so there are examples of this. And as someone who lives in the middle of Hokieland, I don’t believe he started landing the highest rated kids from day one. So, there is that chance.

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  15. So we shouldn’t look at a player’s offer list or look at any rating site other than rivals. Got it. And we can’t listen to the coaches because they are never honest. Okay. And we shouldn’t read other Pitt sites because there is too much homerism/favoritism and the information is not accurate. Alright. Sounds a little like Communist China.

    In all seriousness, I understand and accept that, at this point, Pitt is not going to be a top 10 perennial team. And let’s be honest, if that happens, it’s going to take a while. However, I think that Narduzzi is bringing in enough talent at most positions to build a solid foundation.

    Then, once we hopefully become a perennial top 25 team, he can bring in even more talent and continue to move up the rankings. All of this is subjective (just like star ratings), but I think we have pieces in place to get back to 7-5 or 8-4 next season…and continue to get better from there.

    I’d be interested to hear what people think about win/loss predictions…or is it is too early?

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    1. I can try to clarify for the hundredth time. A given player’s offer list posted on a recruiting site may not be valid. The player may be promoting themselves by posting false offers. The player may have misunderstood whether it was a legitimate scholarship offer and still reported it as an offer when it was simply interest. There may simply be mistakes within the site or with the reader’s understanding. However feel free to compare offers across sites. You will find discrepancies.

      Feel free to read other Pitt sites. The point about this site is that it is sometimes critical of Pitt football and basketball. If you need to hear only positives about anything involving Pitt sports, become a devotee of PSN, Dokish’s blog (assuming he restarts it) or only read Ike’s posts. 😉

      In China you likely would have entered a state run blog that serves as a honey pot for iconoclasts and you would have already been detained by the authorities for offending the party. Here you had an opportunity to be a d-bag toward the gracious guy who runs the blog and he likely didn’t even ban you. I mean wwb is still active here after all.;-)

      We’ve already had threads discussing next year including one started by Dr. Tom concerning what should be that moved toward what will be. I agree with Dr. Tom and say Pitt should be 8-4 with a bowl win in season 4 of PN. However I predict that Pitt will be 5-7. I believe that Ike says wait until Pitt hires a DC.

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    2. Who ever said not to look at anything – i’m saying that in my 11 years of doing this if you don’t use one recruiting site as a reference things get scrambled because people cherry pick the sites for the most stars they can find.

      So on here its Rivals.

      You can listen all you want to coaches – but my advice is have a handy grain of salt around… and you can certainly go on other Blogs, message boards as much as you want – I read The Pitt Blather daily.

      Too early for W/L predictions… I usually do two on here – a first one after spring practice – then a final one after fall camp breaks and the two-deep is set.

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  16. GC..great read ! I too was in that same age group as you, JoeL, and Dan 72. The times-they have a changed in regards to the recruits and recruiting from our days. We had so much star power at PITT in those days but the 2 biggest stars of those glory years were Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill. Johnny took the campus and city by storm with his southern charm and knocked it out of the park. He was the focal point of that resurrection. Man could he connect and bring people together. Kids wanted to be around him and he had some of the greatest coaches in the country supporting him. “Jackie Wayne” (as the Ole Miss fans I met at the BBPV Bowl call Jackie Sherrill and not in complementary way) was also a dynOmite recruiter with that southern charm. People and recruits took notice and what followed was pure Mustard and Blue Magic…GC, JoeL, Dan72, Dr.Tom, Lastrow, Savannah a lot of us on the POV watched it unfold, we wallowed in it and still cherish the memories of a National Championship and 11-1,11-1,11-1..and if Matt Cavanaugh did not fracture his wrist in ’77 we had a real shot at back to back National Championships!

    JoeL,,did your young ass bet your allowance on the Mt Lebo game???

    Shame Beano isn’t around to post. Would love to hear his thoughts on the articles posted on the POV.

    My staff bought me “The University of Pittsburgh Football Vault” for my 66th birthday. What a great collection of stories. Wish we were still called the WUPs.

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    1. again, I’m not against opposing viewpoints, but how valid is it when some people are always against a particular player, coach and AD …… or a school? Like nothing ever is good enough. It really gets old after a while

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    2. The Baldwin games were always a big deal. I remember in the late 70’s a member of the visiting Baldwin band wrote a P-G editorial in which he accused Mt Lebanon fans of pummeling the band with all sorts of projectiles, including steel balls. Apparently, these steel ball damaged his Sousaphone.

      The games against Keystone Oaks (Dormont, Castle Shannon & Greentree) were also cloassic, although Lebo usually won. Those hailing from KO were referred to as Greasers while those from Lebo were call Cake Eaters. The big question was who was gonna win the fights after the game. They had some tough cookies in KO and sometimes they would bring the muscle in from Beechview and Brookline.

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    3. BigB. After the Dave Hart “ this is the year the Panther begins to growl” years, I had to pinch myself that it WAS happening during Majors 1 and Sherrill years. I remember sitting at Rehototh Beach each summer during those years arguing with my fellow Pitt buds what one game we might love that could cost us the National Championship. I still think the 1980 team was Pitt’s best.

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      1. BTW, On Thanksgiving Day (yes, Thanksgiving) at Pitt Stadium …. New Castle beat that Mt Lebanon team for the WPIAL title. And Dave Hart’s son was a DB for Mt Lebanon.

        I was a soph at NC and attended the game

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  17. Bernie… I received the vault also. It’s awesome. Johnny will ALWAYS have a special place on my Pitt man cave wall as well as the tailgate shrine. I need to find my copy of Myron Cope doing his “Hi Ho Majors”…it’s to the tune of the theme song from the Lone Ranger tv show. I promised a copy to MajorMajors and dropped the ball. I’ll put my best people on it. Haha.

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  18. No no Barvo, I can throw a pre pre season prediction. I would say no better than 6-6 right now…. and after no considerable or serious thought to this, I say PITT breaks their win less streak of losing all of their two bowl games and win’s one for Reed!! . . . … 7-6..

    BibB and Lastrow, I have the Vault for a long while now. Great references as well as the pics’

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      1. But after our last bowl win, in a game where our star WR runs back a kick for a TD, our back-up QB delivers a 2nd half comeback victory and our steamroller RB crashes through the 200 yard barrier in route to the game’s MVP, all I heard from many regular Pitt blog commentors on other Pitt football blogs of the day were thoughts like:
        Who cares?
        Third rate bowl in Detroit? MEH.
        Pitt beat a MAC team, big deal.
        Etc., etc.

        Now that Pitt has accumulated three consecutive bowl losses, they become key factors that seriously effect recruiting results.

        Color me perplexed🤔.

        & BTW, “Never Forget Houston” because every game matters and humiliating loses like those are team soul crushers. Those type of loses should never be allowed to ever happen again.

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  19. Gee Barvo, who in the hell is this ike guy? Sorry if I get under some you guys skin. but not really.

    BigB, I was around for the 76 NC game. My girlfriend at the time had me over for a meal with her family but when they called me to eat, I wouldn’t leave the TV. That arrangement didn’t work out so well.

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    1. ike, you made the right choice. It never would have worked out with that family. Who plans dinner during a national championship game anyhow?

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  20. Ike…I had dates, marriages, daughter parties and one New Years Eve party where Pitt Football took precedence. Most times it did not go over well with the ladies. I did not care…still don’t. It’s been even worse with the Steelers here in Ravenland.

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    1. Dan – Awesome post. My brother, father, and I couldn’t be pried away from the TV at a wedding reception & had the wife very upset (It was my wedding). Crazy enough, they were playing Houston. So “never forget Houston” or “Houston we have a problem” began for me long before the bowl debacle a few years ago. My weekends revolve around Pitt Football…don’t care!

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      1. I left my wedding reception at the Greentree Holiday Inn for an hour back in the day to watch Lemieux slice up the Canadiens. The Mrs. didn’t notice – I married well!

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  21. Wanny recruited better than any coach in my lifetime (born in 83)

    Wanny is the only coach to win 10 games in my lifetime and won 27 over a three year period for best three year mark from 83 to present.

    Stars matter!

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      1. That sounds too optimistic for Upitt. Are you sure the quite isn’t, “recruit 3 Stars, play like 2 Stars”?

        Sorry for always picking on you Upitt, but I know you can take it. Plus I take such pleasure in poking fun at contrarians. You know the standard warning, “if you can’t take it, don’t dish it out”. Good advice I wish a certain retired reality TV star would heed himself.

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      2. Really? A Donald and James Conner didn’t play like 3* and I’m not sure that Hugh Green wasn’t a 3* himself. Pretty sure A Bryant wasn’t that highly rated? Now PITT has this lousy 3* QB going into next year. Then there was McKillops and Romeus and… ..etc etc…. on and on. . .

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  22. And how did Wanny convince those players to come. His passion and personality. Heinz was also new. WPA also had some studs. Different game today though. PA is lacking talent. Heinz has been exposed for what it is. Pitt is in a much tougher conference. The BCS exists. Narduzzi does have more support but he still can’t land them despite his passion, personality and social media skills. Not sure why?

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  23. Dan72… 1980 must have been the year when ending the practice Jackie put the ball on the 5 yard line and gave Marino and company the challenge of scoring a TD on the great D. Loser had to run a lap. After 4 plays Danny led the O on their lap around PITT Stadium. Jackie commented that he watched the greatest college ever assembled. !!

    We have been ther. We climbed the mountain a breathed the rarified air. We all were a part of the team- management, players, students and fans. Would love to experience that feeling one more time. Loved every minute of the run and hooked on Original Mystard and Blue!

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  24. LOL BigB, I can just picture you and the great Jeanie B out there on that dance floor… Movin and a groovin. oga oga……………….

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  25. To my South Hills buddies: Yes, I went to Keystone Oaks (KO), 72 grad and while you guys had MUCH larger student bodies, and beat us in football, we were very dominant on the basketball court Thur the 70’s. Mt Lebo was our arch rival and yes, us tougher guys from Dormont called them “cake eaters.” ;>)

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Does anyone have a decent ballpark figure on when the 2018 FB schedule will be announced? I have a couple business meeting go to schedule for the fall and want to avoid Pitt FB weekends, especially home games.

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  27. We can all agree that the distance between winning 5 games and 9 games is not that great. That distance is defined by strength of schedule, game day coaching (which includes putting the best players on the field), player game day performance (which includes playing with a “hate to lose attitude” and I mean HATE) and quality of recruits. We can discuss the relative importance of these factors and doing that is fun or at least interesting but we can’t deny the relevance of each of these factors.

    Of course, if Pitt is playing a ranked team It is futile to complain about this or that. But that doesn’t mean if instead of the ranked team Pitt was playing Rice that it would not make a difference.

    Bottom line, Pitt can win only 5 games next year and we can look back at it – or even look at it in real time – and see real progress. Or it can win 5 games and we can say SOP. I’m not talking about rose colored glasses. To win only 5 games next season and still see progress will require the team to not play the way it did against Oklahoma State or North Carolina.

    There is no prediction being made here by this POVer. I have my concerns like we all do but I also see the possibility that we could be on the verge of being a perennially 9 win team at least if the schedule is not ridiculously tough as it appears it will be next year.

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  28. 6&64, yes I know it’s 34. You pretty much have my number. I don’t always look at the final score even though that is the bottom line. Especially when it could be another transitional year. You know, another new coordinator being broken in and still a young core group of players.

    A keen football eye sees much more than that… Then again… that kind of eye gets bleary if we don’t keep realty in mind? This next year will be the first year I look at Narduzzi’s team with a more of a critical attitude directed at objectivity at this coaching staff. Yet as you say, they could lose 6 or 7 games and still have a positive season imo..

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